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Jamie McLaren Lachman


Jamie Lachman photo 1Jamie McLaren Lachman has over 15 years experience developing and implementing psychosocial interventions for children and families in areas of crisis throughout sub-Saharan Africa. 

As director and founder of Clowns Without Borders South Africa, he has developed programmes that have served over 330,000 children, adolescents, and families throughout low- and middle-income countries.

Jamie is also a co-Investigator, research manager, and programme developer for the Sinovuyo Caring Families Project – the development and randomized controlled trial (n=240) of a parenting intervention to reduce the risk of child maltreatment and improve child behaviour in vulnerable, impoverished families in Cape Town, South Africa.

Jamie is also on the steering committee of the World Health Organisation initiated project, Parenting for Lifelong Health – a programme focused on developing, testing and widely disseminating a suite of three parenting programmes for low-resource settings that is affordable, not for profit, and based on rigorous evidence.

Jamie is currently completing his doctorate as a Clarendon Fund scholarship recipient at the University of Oxford’s Department of Social Policy and Intervention. His research examines the development and pilot feasibility trial of the Sinovuyo Caring Families Programme.

Jamie is also a graduate of University of Oxford (MSc with distinction), Yale University (BA with distinction), and the Dell’Arte International School for Physical Theatre.

He is also the chairperson of ASSITEJ South Africa, an organisation that works to promote international awareness of South African theatre for children and young people, through networking, organising exchanges, touring performances, and by facilitating contacts. 

Jamie is also an actor, clown, storyteller, banjo player, songwriter, director, facilitator, and poet. Always looking for laughter in the life’s simplicity, he strives to live each day fully with compassion and amazement. 



Parenting for Lifelong Health Ages 2-9: Reducing the Risk of Child Maltreatment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Through the Development, Evaluation, and Dissemination of Evidence-Based Parenting Programmes

In high-income countries, parenting programmes have been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of child maltreatment. However, there is limited evidence on their effectiveness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In collaboration with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, we have initiated a partnership called Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) to develop and test a suite of parenting suitable for LMICs.  This poster presentation focuses on the PLH for families with children ages 2-9  – the Sinovuyo Caring Families Programme.

The Sinovuyo Caring Families Programme’s development and evaluation is being implemented over 4 phases in South Africa: 1) Development Phase: community based participatory research in 2012 to adapt evidence-based parenting principles to a local cultural context; 2) Pilot Phase: a pilot randomised controlled trial in 2013 to test programme feasibility and initial effects (n=68); 3) Efficacy Phase: a larger randomised controlled trial in 2014-2016 to evaluate programme efficacy and test potential moderators and mediators of intervention effects (n=250); and 4) Dissemination Phase: further testing in other low- or middle-income countries to establish effectiveness and plan for wide-scale rollout by 2020.

Formative research found a high receptivity to evidence-based parenting principles that have been shown to improve parenting and reduce child behavior problems. The pilot feasibility trial showed improvements in parent self-report of positive parenting for the intervention group in comparison with the control group (F=8.93, p=.004, Cohen's d=0.74). The programme was also implemented with an acceptable degree of dosage (64.4% attended 9 or more sessions), participant satisfaction, cultural acceptability, and programme fidelity.

This study is the first in sub-Saharan Africa to use a systematic approach to programme development and evaluation that includes a randomised design of an evidence-informed parenting programme to reduce violence against young children. Initial results indicate that the programme is feasible, culturally acceptable, and has the potential to reduce the risk of child maltreatment by improving positive parenting behaviour. Further testing is necessary and currently underway to determine programme efficacy prior to dissemination throughout low- and middle-income countries.